Goddess Shailaputri also spelled Shailputri is the first among the Navadurga Devi’s and is also the preceding deity on the first day (Asviyuja suddha Padyami) of Navaratri’s. She is none other than Goddess Parvati.
This incarnation of Goddess Shailaputri occurred after Goddess Sati has offered her body in the yogic fire during Daksha’s Yagna.
The name Shailaputri means the daughter of Mountains (Shaila means mountain and Putri means daughter), also the names Parvathi (Daughter of Parvatha- Himavantha), Haimavathi (Daughter of snow-capped one) gives the same meaning.
Worshipping this Goddess is known to fulfill the wishes of the devotee along with her mercy.
What do Hindu Scriptures say about Goddess Shailaputri?
Several Shaivagamas describes the 9 forms of Durga, in which Goddess Shailaputri is one among them. While Devi scriptures like Chandi sataka mentions her as a form of Chandi.
According to the Kurma Purana, Devi Shailaputri is mentioned as the goddess, who accepted the request of daughter-ship from her devotee Shaila – king of the Mountains.
Also, a description of this Goddess along with the other Navadurga’s can be found in the Durga saptashati.
Several books on Shakthi has also mentioned the name of this goddess as one among the 64 yoginis. Also, itihasas like Mahabharata has used the name Shailaputri like a synonym to the name Parvathi.
Goddess Shailaputri and Kundalini
Goddess Shailaputri also plays an important role in the Kundalini vidya, as she is known to be associated with the Muladhara chakra of Kundalini.
Goddess Shailaputri is described in several hymns, Agamas as the one riding on a bull, adorned with a crescent moon on her head and having two hands in which the right one is described holding a trident and the left holding a lotus. In some depictions, the lotus on her left hand is replaced by a Damaru (drum).
Story of Goddess Shailaputri
Goddess Sati and her Sacrifice
Goddess Parvati in her previous incarnation was born as Devi Sati, as the daughter of Daksha Prajapati. However, due to a conflict with Shiva, Daksha conducted a nireeshwarayaga (Yagna without Ishwara) without calling God Shiva and Sati Devi to the ritual.
However, Goddess Sati came to know about that and thought to go to that yagna, in order to correct the wrong actions of her father Daksha.
However, God Shiva refused her not to go as Daksha didn’t invite. But Goddess Sati urged Shiva saying that she is going to rectify the mistake of her father for which she need to go. Unwillingly, God Shiva accepted. However, he sent Nandi and other ganas along with her to the yagnashala.
At the Dakshas yagna, Goddess Sati is unwelcomed, but she urged his father to stop such a yagna, saying that doing such a yagna can lead to Ishwara papa.
Daksha didn’t listen to her words and moreover he insulted God Shiva with his words.
Angered by this, Goddess Sati scolded her father Daksha along with all the gods who came to that nirishwara yaga. She then reminded Daksha about his behavior and said that you will pay off for your acts.
At the same time, she said to Daksha that being born as his daughter, she no more want to be called with the name Dakshayani. I can’t be a daughter to the one who rejects God Shiva as supreme.
Later Goddess Sati, sacrificed her body in the yogic fire generated from her body. Then God Shiva sent Veerabhadra along with Shiva ganas to destroy the Daksha yagna.
Goddess Sati Reincarnated as Parvati or Shailaputri
Later to reunite with God Shiva, Devi took another form as Shailaputri or Parvati as the daughter of Himavanta and Menka devi.
Once upon a time, Menaka Devi, the wife of Himavantha thought to have the supreme goddess as her daughter, due to the deep sorrow as their son named Mainaka is living inside the deep ocean fearing to the Indra’s Vajrayudha.
So, in order to have a child in their presence, Devi Menaka along with Himavanta had done pujas and penances on Parashakthi with the utmost devotion to fulfill their wish of getting the divine Goddess herself as their daughter.
One day Goddess Shakthi on her wish to reincarnate and marry God shiva, blessed Himavantha and Menaka that she will be born as their daughter.
Like that the incarnation of this Goddess had occurred.
As she is the daughter of the mountain Himavantha, she was referred with names like Parvati, Shailaputri, Himavathi, and Adrija.
Maa Shailaputri Mantra and Hymns
Om Devi Shailaputriyai Namaha
Vande vanchitha labhaya Chandrardha krutha sekharam
Vrusharudham Shuladharam Shailaputrim Yasahasvineem
This prayer describes that Goddess Shailaputri as the renowned one, the fulfiller of the wishes, adorned with a crescent moon on her head, seated on a Vrushabha (bull) and holding a Shula.
This hymn is also a part of Navadurga Stotra.
Basically, Goddess Shailaputri is considered as Goddess Parvati herself and there are very few temples that are particularly dedicated to this Goddess. Some of them were
- Shailputri Temple, Nagabal
- Maa Shailaputri Temple, Varanasi
Naivedyam to the Goddess
The Devi Shailaputri is the primary deity on the padyami day or the first day of Sharan Navarathi’s.
Offering Pulagam (a special dish made with rice and moong dal) as prasada to the goddess is considered sacred on this day. However, there is no restriction on what Naivedyam to offer. You can offer the naivedyam as per your interests.
Benefits of Praying to the Shailaputri Mata
Worshipping of this Goddess is believed to fulfill all our internal desires or wishes, as well as in granting good health and even moksha. This is the reason mata shailaputri is often referred as Anantha phaladayini, the bestower of immense wishes.